Some people are doomed to suffer the Charlie Brown Complex. I didn’t make that up. I first discovered this label from John Maxwell in his great book, Be a People Person.

If you are familiar with the cartoon character, Charlie Brown, you will know that he just can’t seem do do anything right. He is noted for his inability to fly a kite. At Christmas, he can’t lead the Christmas play or even pick out a good Christmas tree. He is prone to depression, anxiety and very low self-esteem.

If you feel like Charlie Brown at times, and who doesn’t, I think I may have some help. Be careful of the influences in your life.

Have you noticed that when Charlie Brown messes up, Lucy is always around. She’s the one who holds the ball when he’s trying to kick it. She’s the one who got him to lead the Christmas play. And she is always nearby to help point out his mistakes.

Charlie Brown Luicy baseballIn one comic strip, she really gives it to him. Lucy says, “You, Charlie Brown, are a foul ball in the line drive of life! You’re in the shadow of your own goal posts! You are a miscue! You are three putts on the eighteenth green! You are a seven-ten split int he tenth frame! You are a dropped rod and reel in the lake of life! You are a missed free throw, a shanked nine iron, and a called third strike! Do you understand? Have I made myself clear?

Wow! I think Lucy did make herself clear. How could Charlie Brown ever succeed with those words attacking him?

Do you have a Lucy in your life? I think all of us have people who are constant critics. I do not want to suggest that you just need to get rid of these people. I’ve discovered that critics can be my best friend because they will tell me the ugly truth I need to hear. But you don’t need to have your life full of these people.

What stands out in the relationships of Charlie Brown is that even though Lucy is a bully-type, Charlie Brown still remains friends. Though their relationship is rocky Charlie Brown and Lucy are still friends and can get along. Without Lucy, Charlie Brown would never make comebacks.

Charlie Brown and Lucy footballBut you cannot surround yourself with people who are always negative, putting you down, and making life difficult. Every time you start out to do something, you will always have some hesitancy. But if you constantly have people telling you it can’t be done, you will soon lose what little confidence you have. You will never be what you are supposed to be.

We must surround ourselves with confident people who challenge us to be more. Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, has said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Can I suggest you spend a lot of time with good, encouraging people? Spend the most time with Jesus.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

So in spite of the Lucys in your life, I hope you will move forward in the power of the Lord to do what He wants you to do. Do what He has called and gifted you to do. Follow His lead and He will make your way successful.

Like Charlie Brown, keep at it. In spite of the failures, try again. Because one day you will kick the football through the goal post, you will fly your kite high into the air, you will lead the best Christmas pageant ever, and you might get the attention of ‘the little red-haired girl.’

You can also read my other articles about Charlie Brown: Merry Christmas Charlie Brown: 10 Life Lessons, Why ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Almost Didn’t Happen, A True Story About Overcoming Failure.